Following the announcement of an Ebola virus resurgence in Uganda, Kenya’s Ministry of Health has issued a health alert.
According to the Ugandan Health Ministry, the outbreak was discovered in a community in central Uganda and resulted in one death.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe noted on Wednesday that due to the porous nature of the Kenya-Uganda border in the Western area, there is significant human movement between the two countries, placing Kenya at a high risk of importing Ebola.
As a result, he sent out a warning to all counties, urging them to be watchful, increase monitoring, particularly at the border, mobilize rapid response teams to assist in the identification of any suspected evasions, and report any such occurrences as soon as possible.
The Health Minister also called for screening of at-risk populations such as travelers, truck drivers, bush meat handlers, and health care workers, as well as community sensitization to identify suspected cases.
“Educate health care workers on infection prevention and control (IPC) measures, case management, and sample management, and mobilize all relevant stakeholders to initiate prevention, preparedness, and response measures, as well as the development of county EVD contingency plans,” CS Kagwe directed.
He also urged Kenyans to take extra precautions when visiting Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where frequent outbreaks have largely influenced the ebola cases reported in Uganda in the past.
CS Kagwe, however, urged Kenyans not to panic and instead to keep an eye out for anyone with an acute onset of fever and any of the Ebola symptoms, “especially if in contact with poisons and a history of travel from Uganda and/or the Democratic Republic of the Congo within the previous three weeks.”
Vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, headache, sore throat, measles-like rash, red eyes, and bleeding from body openings are the most common symptoms of Ebola infection.